UCAT Situational Judgement Test

Medistudents Team
Feb 8, 2024

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Does any of this sound like you?

  • I keep answering UCAT questions but don’t seem to be improving.
  • I need to score well in the UCAT but don’t have time to answer thousands of questions.
  • I don’t know which areas of the UCAT to focus on.

What if you could...

  • Have questions hand-picked for you based on your individual strengths and weaknesses.
  • Save countless hours by not wasting time on topics that won’t improve your exam score.
  • See a sophisticated analysis of your skill level for each area of the UCAT.

The Medibuddy AI-powered UCAT question bank provides this and more.


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“The new [Medibuddy] adaptive UCAT question bank made my revision much more efficient and it helped me get better and quicker at answering questions”

“I used the Abstract Reasoning section as I found the website the night before my test and I was pretty bad at AR. In my official exam my AR was my 2nd best section at 860! Overall, I thought the website was a very useful resource from what I saw and I liked the algorithm that showed skill in particular question types.”

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Why use the Medibuddy adaptive UCAT question bank?

Did you know that if you spend an average of 2 minutes answering and absorbing the explanation of each question in a question bank, it will take you 333 hours to get through 10k questions!?

No wonder the vast majority of people don’t answer anywhere near 10k questions before their exam!

We surveyed 100s of medical students and asked them what their biggest issue was when preparing for the UCAT.

Over 90% said that because the UCAT wasn’t a knowledge-based exam, they could answer thousands of questions but never feel like they were getting anywhere.

The trouble with standard question banks is that everyone is given the same questions to prepare with, with no consideration of what skills or topics each person is actually struggling with.

However, everyone has a different baseline ability. You might struggle with quantitative reasoning, whereas your friend might be a maths wizard. With a standard question bank, you’ll both answer the same QR questions, in the same order, meaning you’ll be left struggling while your friend doesn’t feel stretched.

No wonder so many people can find preparing for the UCAT frustrating!

The Medibuddy adaptive UCAT question bank is here to change all that.

We recognise that the vast majority of students don’t complete all 10,000 questions in a question bank.

It’s therefore vitally important that the questions you do answer are relevant to your skill and ability level.

We’ll ensure that in the areas you’re struggling, you’ll master the basics first. Whereas in your stronger areas, you’ll be immediately pushed.

This will mean that every minute of your revision is turbo charged to maximise your UCAT score.

More than a just question bank that tells you the correct answers

As you progress through the question bank, you’ll be able to see a sophisticated estimate of your current skill level for each subsection of the UCAT. When other question banks give you a performance review, they are simply telling you how many questions you’ve got right or wrong. 

We do things differently.

Our algorithm will tell you exactly what your ability level is for each area of the UCAT. We calculate this based on the actual difficulty of the questions you are answering and it’s done in real time, so you can be sure that the work you’re putting in is actually translating into real gains in your UCAT score.

The Medibuddy UCAT question bank is the only one available which shows you if you’re actually getting better at answering harder questions.

The final section of the UCAT, the Situational Judgement Test, assesses how you respond to real world scenarios. It’s different from the other subtests in the exam, which are grouped together as the ‘cognitive subtests’. These differences primarily lie in how it is scored and how your score is used by medical schools in their selection process; both of which you can find more information about in the UCAT Situational Judgement Test Bands section below. 

This guide will provide you with information about the UCAT Situational Judgement Test, the structure and types of questions you will be asked, practice questions and tips to do well.

What does UCAT Situational Judgement test?

Within the UCAT Situational Judgement Test, you’ll be given scenarios and possible actions or considerations linked to these, which you’ll need to judge in terms of their importance or appropriateness.

The UCAT Situational Judgement Test assesses your ability to understand situations, identify key factors and respond appropriately. Although some of the scenarios will be clinical based, the UCAT website states that you do not need ‘medical or procedural knowledge’; rather, it is your values and behaviours that will be assessed, through your responses to difficult situations and ethical scenarios.

Why is there a UCAT Situational Judgement Test?

It’s important that doctors respond appropriately in situations, to maintain professionalism and uphold trust in the profession; therefore, the values and behaviours assessed in the UCAT Situational Judgement Test are essential for prospective doctors.

The UCAT website identifies the following key values and behaviours that will be assessed as part of the Situational Judgement Test:

  • Integrity
  • Perspective taking
  • Team involvement
  • Resilience
  • Adaptability

UCAT Situational Judgement format

The format of the UCAT Situational Judgement Test is as follows:

  • Various scenarios
  • Up to 6 questions for each scenario
  • 69 multiple choice questions in total

How long is UCAT Situational Judgement?

You’ll have 26 minutes (plus a 1 minute instruction section) to read the scenarios and answer the 69 associated questions.

Not unusual with the UCAT, time is a factor in the Situational Judgement Test; however, the scenarios will be relevantly short to read – in comparison to the passages in the Verbal Reasoning section, for example – so you should find with adequate preparation and the use of practice tests, you can get through all of the questions in the given time.

UCAT Situational Judgement questions

Within the UCAT Situational Judgement Test there are the following two question types:

  • ‘How appropriate’ or ‘how important’ questions

    For these types of questions, you need to rate the importance or appropriateness of the given responses in relation to the scenario.

    There are four possible ranking options to choose from in these types of questions:

    • ‘How appropriate’ questions:
      • A very appropriate thing to do
      • Appropriate, but not ideal
      • Inappropriate, but not awful
      • A very inappropriate thing to do
  • Most / least appropriate questions

    In relation to the scenario, you’ll be given three possible responses and asked to choose the most and least appropriate action.

    Remember, it’s asking you to rank the actions, so they may all be appropriate, but it’s about identifying which would be the top priority or best response and the lowest priority or worst response in the situation given.

UCAT Situational Judgement Test bands

As mentioned previously, the scoring for the Situational Judgement Test differs from the other UCAT subtest and isn’t included in your total score with the ‘cognitive subtests. Instead, raw scores are expressed as 4 bands, with band 1 being the highest and band 4 the lowest score.

Within the UCAT Situational Judgement Test, you’ll score partial marks for ‘almost right’ answers and full marks, of course, for the correct answer; giving you the opportunity to gain some marks even if you don’t get the correct answer. For example, for ‘how important’ questions, if you choose ‘very important’ for an answer where the correct choice was ‘important’, you would be awarded partial marks.

The cognitive subtests – Abstract Reasoning, Decision Making, Quantitative Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning – are scored differently, using scaled scoring. You can find out more about scoring for the cognitive subtests in our UCAT Scores and UCAT Decile Ranking blogs.

UCAT Situational Judgement scores

Just as the Situational Judgement Test differs from the other UCAT subtests in how it’s scored, the score statistics provided by UCAT are also different, and shown as the percentage of candidates in each band.

The UCAT website provides the following percentages for the Situational Judgement Test from 2018 – 2023:

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Number of candidates 27,466 29,375 34,153 37,230 36,374 35,625
Band 1 21% 17% 30% 14% 20% 25%
Band 2 34% 40% 36% 36% 36% 39%
Band 3 32% 33% 24% 33% 31% 26%
Band 4 13% 10% 9% 16% 14% 9%

For more information about how the UCAT is scored, including the UCAT interpretation of performance per band, visit the UCAT Practice Test blog.

How important is the UCAT Situational Judgement Test?

The importance of the UCAT Situational Judgement Test in terms of your medical school application varies depending on your chosen university (see section below). However, being familiar with situational judgement style tests will benefit you throughout your training and future career, as they are used widely within medical selection, and therefore you will experience them at different stages of your professional life. The UCAT website highlights their use in the selection of ‘Foundation Doctors, GP and other specialities’, for example, demonstrating that Situational Judgement is not simply a test you will do once then forget about.

Do universities look at Situational Judgement?

Preparing for UCAT Situational Judgement Test

Often medical schools don’t list specific requirements, scores or bands, but will take your UCAT score and Situational Judgement band into consideration at some stage of the selection process.

For medical schools which give specific requirements for the Situational Judgement Test score, the most common criteria is that applicants must achieve band 1 – 3 and those who score in band 4 will not be considered for entry. The medical schools which specifically outline this requirement are:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Brunel University London
  • Edge Hill University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Hull York Medical School
  • Keele University School of Medicine
  • Kent and Medway Medical School
  • University of Leicester
  • Lincoln Medical School (University of Nottingham Lincoln Pathway)
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Manchester – they also specify that applicants in band 1 and 2 will be prioritised above band 3. 
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Sunderland

How your score is used differs depending on your chosen medical school/s, so it’s worth checking their website to familiarise yourself with any specific UCAT Situational Judgement Test requirements.  

As with all sections of the UCAT, you’ll be aware of your Situational Judgement score before you apply; therefore, if you didn’t perform as well as you’d hoped, you can always apply to medical schools which put less emphasis on this section of the UCAT. However, doing well will give you more options and mean you’re not restricted in the medical schools that you can apply for, which is especially important if the medical school/s of your choice have minimum requirements for the Situational Judgement test.

What is a good score for UCAT Situational Judgement?

Generally, band 1 or 2 is a ‘good’ score within the UCAT Situational Judgement Test. Although medical schools which specify entry requirements for the Situational Judgement Test include band 3 as an acceptable band, it’s possible that applicants in higher scoring bands will be prioritised over those in band 3, as stated by Manchester School of Medicine.

In addition, in previous UCATs over half of the candidates have consistently scored in band 1 or 2, and in some years this has been as high as 70% of candidates; therefore, if you’re aiming for a ‘good’ Situational Judgement score, it’s likely that you’ll want to score in this bracket.

Is band 2 in the UCAT Situational Judgement Test good?

The UCAT website outlines that candidates who achieve a band 2 ‘demonstrate a good, solid level of performance, showing appropriate judgement frequently, with many responses matching model answers’. Therefore, a band 2 or above is generally considered to be a good Situational Judgement score in the UCAT.

How to prepare for UCAT Situational Judgement

The UCAT Situational Judgement Test assesses your ability to respond appropriately to given situations, as well as your values and behaviours linked to these actions. Therefore, gaining an understanding of the behaviours expected of doctors and medical students is a useful starting point for your exam preparations. The General Medical Council’s (GMC’s) Good Medical Practice guidance outlines the values and behaviours expected of a doctor, and therefore is a useful document to familiarise yourself with. As well as being helpful for your UCAT Situational Judgement Test, it’ll also be useful for your medical school interview, so the more familiar you are with it the better, when it comes to your medical school application.

As with all areas of the UCAT, completing practice questions and practice tests will help you to prepare effectively for the Situational Judgement Test. This will help you to become familiar with the type of questions you’ll be asked, how to answer and the speed at which you need to answer them. Remember, the Situational Judgement Test is the last section in the UCAT, so you may find that you’re lacking concentration or becoming tired at this point. By incorporating full practice tests into your UCAT revision, rather than simply focusing on individual subtests, you’ll be more used to the demands of the test and build stamina to complete the full UCAT.

You can find more information about practice questions and tests in the practice questions section below.

5 top tips for the UCAT Situational Judgement

The following tips will support you to do well in the UCAT Situational Judgement Test:

  • Think about your role
    Your role or position is often an important element in the scenarios and will affect how you respond. You should respond as the person in the scenario, not what you would do now, as you need to take into account their role, responsibilities and capabilities, which may be different to yours.

    For example, an appropriate response if you’re a medical student may be completely different to if you were a qualified doctor in the scenario, and both may be different to how you should respond in the same situation.

    This links to the guidance from the GMC’s Good Medical Practice which states that you must ‘work within the limits of your competence’; therefore, it’s important that you know what your limitations would be in different roles and ensure that you’re working within these in your responses.
  • Read scenarios carefully
    Although time is a consideration in all sections of the UCAT, the scenarios in the Situational Judgement Test are relevantly short, so ensure that you read each one carefully. This will support you to answer the questions more quickly, and by noting things like your role in the scenario (as discussed above), you’ll be able to evaluate the importance or appropriateness of the responses more effectively.
  • Remember partial points
    As with all sections of the UCAT, there is no negative marking, meaning you will not lose points for giving an incorrect answer. What’s more, with the UCAT Situational Judgement Test, you’ll be awarded marks if your answer is close to the correct response. Therefore, if you’re unsure of an answer – for example, torn between ‘very important’ and ‘important’ – you’re likely to at least pick up some marks if you give an answer rather than leave it blank, so it’s worth doing.
  • Approach questions separately
    For the ‘how important’ or ‘how appropriate’ type questions, you can use the same answer option for different responses to the scenario. For example, it may be that two options given are ‘a very appropriate thing to do’ in response to the situation. Therefore, consider and respond to each question separately, even those relating to the same scenario.
  • Remember what values and behaviours you want to demonstrate
    As mentioned previously, the UCAT website outlines the key values and behaviours that will be assessed – integrity, perspective taking, team involvement, resilience and adaptability – which your responses in the Situational Judgement Test should reflect. Consider other key attributes you’d expect doctors and medical students to demonstrate, for example, honesty, professionalism, confidentiality and compassion, and bear these in mind when considering your answer options.

UCAT Situational Judgement practice questions

As mentioned above, the two most valuable tools for preparing for the UCAT Situational Judgement Test are the General Medical Council’s Good Medical Practice guidance and practice tests. The first will help you to become familiar with the values and behaviours expected of doctors, while the second will prepare you for the questions that you’ll be asked and how you should respond; providing effective preparation for this section of the UCAT.

The free, adaptive Medibuddy UCAT question bank offers personalised learning, through AI-powered practice questions, which adapt to your strengths and weaknesses. This ensures that you dedicate time to the areas which are likely to have the biggest impact on your UCAT score, making more effective use of your UCAT preparation time.


Thousands of questions and comprehensive answers written specifically for UCAT preparation, with more getting added.

The Medibuddy platform has been designed to replicate the actual exam, so you won’t get any surprises on the day.

Each question and explanation you receive will be chosen by our AI algorithm, specifically for you.

The only question bank available that tells you if you’re actually getting better and not just how many questions you’ve answered correctly.

We don’t just pick the questions for our mock exams at random, we follow a similar process to the actual exam board by calibrating every question for difficulty, based on the abilities of 100s of medical students. This means your score will be a much more accurate reflection of the real thing.


You can access our platform anywhere and it works on desktops, tablets and phones. This means you can revise at home or on the go.

When the Medibuddy team were preparing for the UCAT, working out where to start was quite overwhelming. The online resources offered thousands of practice questions and lots of generic advice. However, the only way of getting help that was specifically targeted at you was by paying for expensive tutoring.

This didn’t seem right to us. The personalised learning you get with a tutor has been shown to improve exam results across all fields of education. So why when it came to the UCAT, an exam that is vital for medical school, should it only be available to those who could afford a tutor?

The good news is artificial intelligence has changed everything! Super smart algorithms can now identify exactly where your strengths and weaknesses lie, ensuring that every minute of your revision is focused on areas that will have the biggest impact on your exam score.

Here at Medibuddy we’ve used the latest educational technology and combined it with our deep understanding of the UCAT, to produce the first ever AI-powered, adaptive UCAT question bank.

Our sophisticated question bank platform will adapt seamlessly with every question you answer. As you improve, the type and difficulty of the questions you receive will change with you, ensuring that at all times, you only receive the most relevant questions.

A resource you can trust

The Medibuddy team has been creating educational resources for medical students and doctors for years. We’ve helped thousands of students pass their exams and we’ve put all of that experience into our UCAT question bank.

We stay up to date on all the latest educational science, so you can be sure that the techniques we use are state of the art.

How is our UCAT Question Bank free?

We know how expensive applying to medicine can be, so we do our bit by keeping our UCAT question bank FREE.

We’re able to do this by charging a little more on our educational courses and question banks for qualified doctors. We strongly believe that no one should be priced out of medicine. Our doctors agree and are happy to subsidise our educational resources for students.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the algorithm work out what my ability level is?

As you progress through the question bank, our algorithm will be performing complicated statistical analyses of the way you answer questions. All of our questions have been tested on hundreds of 1st year medical students so the algorithm knows exactly how difficult each question is.

The algorithm looks at how you answer questions across a range of different difficulties to work out what your current ability level is.

How does the algorithm know what questions to give me?

Every question in our database has been tagged based on the skills required to answer it and its difficulty level. Once the algorithm has worked out what your ability level is and the areas you need to target, it ensures that the questions you receive focus on these areas. As you get better, the algorithm adapts with you, moving you onto new areas based on your needs.

How similar to the UCAT are the Medibuddy questions and explanations?

Every single question in our question bank is written specifically for UCAT preparation and is reviewed by our editorial team to ensure it is as close a match as possible to the UCAT standard. We don’t borrow questions that have been written to prepare for other exams. In addition to this, all of our questions are calibrated by 100s of first year medical students who have recently taken the UCAT, which allows us to remove any outliers and ensure consistency.